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Sasebo sailor guilty of attempted murder

TOKYO — A Sasebo Naval Base sailor was sentenced Wednesday to five years and six months imprisonment with hard labor after being found guilty of attempted murder, according to a Nagasaki District Court official in Sasebo.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Richard Hahn, 25, was found guilty of stabbing a 25-year-old Japanese woman in Sasebo about 3:30 a.m. Oct. 14. Prosecutors had asked for seven years imprisonment with hard labor, the spokesman said.

Hahn, a master-at-arms from the base security department, had met the woman a week before the incident. In the early morning of Oct. 14, she was stabbed several times in her stomach and back; her injuries took a month to heal, according to the indictment.

On Wednesday, Judge Heinai Komatsu admonished Hahn for hurting the woman after she refused to have sex with him, according to a local newspaper. The judge accused Hahn of becoming violent after “his self-esteem was damaged,” the Nagasaki Shimbun reported.

On Thursday, Hahn’s defense lawyer’s office said the lawyer will not comment on the case.

Navy officials at Sasebo released a statement Wednesday supporting the court’s actions.

“We expect all personnel assigned here to respect the Japanese culture and to absolutely obey its laws,” a statement from the public affairs office read. “… We will continue to fully cooperate with the Japanese police and its legal system to ensure [personnel assigned to Sasebo are] held fully accountable for their actions.”

Hahn will remain on unpaid active duty until he is released from prison. When he is released from confinement, his Navy career will end, according to the Sasebo public affairs office.


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